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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SYSTEMATICS OF MOTHS, LEAFHOPPERS, AND TRUE BUGS OF IMPORTANCE TO AGRICULTURAL, FOREST, AND ORNAMENTAL PLANTS
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The three general objectives of this project are: (1) to conduct systematic studies on plant pests (including invasive species)and beneficial insect groups of importance to U.S. agriculture; (2) to develop electronic resources to enhance technology transfer of research products via the web; and (3) to provide expert identification and curatorial services. Specific groups to be examined include leafroller moths (Tortricidae), cutworm moths (Noctuidae), snout moths (Crambidae), true bugs (Miridae), and leafhoppers (Cicadellidae). Knowledge of their classification and relationships is essential for accurate identification, for assessing host specificity for potential biological control agents, and for developing hypotheses of which species have the greatest likelihood of invading and establishing within the U.S. The project will supply authoritative identifications to action agencies and other customers and curatorial care for the National Insect Collection.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The proposed research uses morphological, biological, biogeographical, and molecular data to classify and characterize difficult groups that are considered either pests (owing to their plant-feeding habit or ability to vector plant pathogens) or beneficials (owing to their predatory habits or their selective herbivory on noxious weeds). To capture data we will use a combination of light and scanning electron microscopy, computer aided character analysis and phylogeny estimation, molecular characterization of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and digital imaging and photography. Specimens for analysis will be acquired from a variety of sources including exploration and field work and borrowing material from other major institutions, and will be accomplished through cooperation with colleagues and collaborators worldwide. The research products will be incorporated into web-based tools for the broadest dissemination of the information.


3.Progress Report
This is a bridging project during which we are completing or continuing work proposed in the previous Project. This work includes the following:

Continued to conduct research on species complexes in the genus Schinia. DNA barcoding (i.e., the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome oxidase I) and morphological characters of the forewing, hind wing, abdomen, and male and female genitalia are used to help define species boundaries among the entities of these complexes.

Continued final adjustments to manuscript and figures for monograph of North American leaf-roller tribe Sparganothini.

Continued descriptions, data collection, and figure production for monograph of the Renodaeus group of plant bugs in the tribe Ceratocapsini.

A manuscript on North American Herpetogramma was completed. Research and two manuscripts were finished on the placement of species removed from Herpetogramma and Spilomelinae. Completed research on type specimens of Diatraea.


Review Publications
Ferreira, P.F., Henry, T.J. 2010. Revision of the genus Ambracius Stal, 1860 (Heteroptera: Miridae: Clivinematini), with descriptions of three new species. Zootaxa. 2485:1-15.

Pogue, M.G. 2010. The Acontiinae and Eublemminae of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Zootaxa. 2499:1-20.

Pogue, M.G., Honey, M., Zilli, A. 2010. New synonymy in a North American species of Pyrrhia Hübner, [1821] (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 112(2):274-280.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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